Sunday, September 22, 2013

Procrastinating with a little crochet (and maybe quilting?)

I had an itch yesterday morning to start a new crochet project!  While getting packed up for the day (for the Vball tournament), I perused my "Favorites" list on Ravelry and found inspiration in "Spring-Lacy Ripples" (ravelry link | Bernat Free pattern).  Of course, I didn't have ANY yarn for the pattern, but I added it to my queue.  
While at the tournament, there was enough down-time between matches for me to get a bit of my schoolwork finished, and make up a few more Packer ruffle scarves for a craft sale MIL is participating in next weekend.   I'm not completely done with my schoolwork, BUT.... there'll be time for that later today.

After the tournament, Cassie and I headed to a nearby town to do a little bit of shopping:  a few odds-n-ends with groceries, some new shoes for her school days, and then... we hit the yarn section.  Cassie picked out the colors;  and naturally, she went "school pride"!  Blue-n-Yellow.

Once home, after stopping at Papa Murphy's on the way, we all relaxed....FINALLY!  Paul was still napping (even though it was 6PM).  LOL.  He helped out a neighbor during the afternoon, so had only had a few hours of sleep in the morning after arriving home from his night-shift.  

But by 7PM, all of us were full from the pizza, and were sitting around the TV, watching Ratatouille, followed by The Incredibles.  During that time, I started on Laker Ripples, named after our school's mascot.

I'm thinking I may actually head downstairs shortly to put a couple of hours in in the sewing room.  Do some tidying;  reorganize some projects that are scattered all over, and figure out what status I have Lazy Sunday, Bonnie's Quiltmaker mystery, in.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A life in pictures...

Paul has had his new job since April, so I guess I shouldn't really call it his "new" job anymore.
It's a swing-shift style job;  he works 4-days on, then 4-days off, then 4-nights on, then 4 days (more like 3.5 days) off.... repeat.

This past week has been his night-shift swing.....
and we didn't see much of each other.

Therefore, the girls and I tried to keep us in his mind as much as possible with the use of pictures.

One night, we came home to a pot of chicken-dumpling soup he made up for us before heading to work.  I don't know if he felt bad, because of a "I'm beat" text I had sent the night before, and therefore made up some dinner for us. (?)  Dunno.  But the soup was good.  And healthier than some of the quick "gotta get to bed" meals I've been putting together :\  
This week's schedule was tough.  Simply put.
Monday consisted of morning meeting AND afternoon meeting, followed by a volleyball match, and then a quick rush home (at 7:30 PM) to take care of animals, make a quick dinner, and scoot the two lil'uns off to bed.  THEN, Cassie and I parked ourselves at the table for a little wind-down with homework.

Tuesday was much of the same... EXCEPT I didn't have any meetings... and Cassie's and my HW load wasn't much.  LOL.  We still enjoyed taking a pic and sending it off to Dad as we settled in with some HW.

Wednesday was a night OFF! (for the most part).  NO Vball game.  No extra running.  We were home by 5:45, but ended up being booked anyway.  Animal chores, laundry, tidying house, sweeping... and then even headed out the garden to pick all the ripe tomatoes for a coworker.  I'd say we handed 60 pounds over;  and she was extremely grateful!

Thursday rolled around, and Paul was actually able to make it to Cassie's game (umm....yeah....that'd be last night), but sadly is working yet again tonight.

Caitlyn's class had their "mucking" field trip today.  I'll tell ya.... 4th grade has some AWESOME field trips!  I can't wait until the Madeline Island trip at the end of the school year;  I think I'm signing up to chaperone that one! :)

And, would you believe that I headed out the garden for more tomatoes after arriving home at 6:00 tonight??

And even PROCESSED THEM!?!?!?!?!
LOL.  What a way to spend a Friday night :)  I kinda needed to, though.  Tomorrow is full of an all-day volleyball tournament, and Sunday......schoolwork!  Yuppers;  I've accepted the inevitable!  The only way to stay caught up this year with two new textbooks (one in AP-Statistics), and all the other RTI initiatives, etc.... I simply need to devote minimum of 6-10 hours every weekend to school.  It simply is what it is.  I'll get a break when June rolls around again.  Right?  :)

Happy Weekend everyone!!!!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

School projects

I finished my garden-harvest processing last night at 11:00PM.  The burner was turned off, I put a movie in the DVD player in the bedroom, and I stretched out in the bed.  Ummm...... I don't think I lasted past the 007 intro music!  LOL.

And man oh man oh man....
Around 1:00AM, I woke up.... with a headache and terribly sore throat.  People, let me simply say.... I RARELY have a headache.  So when I do... something's up.

The rest of the night was .... just .... kinda miserable :(  I finally broke down around 1:30 and went to the kitchen to get a cough drop.  The rest of the night, I was in-and-out of light sleep.  At 6:00, I gave up and got up.

A cup of coffee tasted good... but I knew I was going to be draggin' a bit today :\
By 8:00, most of the household was awake (not Cassie yet), so the TV was turned off and everyone got busy with their chores.   The girls needed to clean their rooms, and I had to tackle my school work.

I was hoping to be done by noon, but around 10:30, my brain simply was struggling to focus anymore. I reread one problem about 6 times in 10 minutes before putting my pencil down and saying...."nope.  Brain isn't working right now."

I made up some lasagna with some spaghetti sauce that didn't fit into one last quart jar.  And by the time it hit the oven, I tried tackling the school work again... and was a little bit successful... until 1:30.   Paul slumbered out from the bedroom (he worked night shift last night), and after eating a couple of pieces of lasagna, he moved to the couch for a little Football time for the afternoon.  So, I put the schoolwork aside for the moment, and grabbed some yarn and my crochet hook.

I've been working on some Blue-n-Gold scarves to give to our School Store advisor.  I'll be delivering 7 scarves to her tomorrow, and I have enough yarn skeins to make 2 more.  Sadly, the shop I purchased the bulk deal from is backordered on this yarn until OCTOBER 25!  So, when these are gone, they are gone.

This evening, after finalizing paperwork for school tomorrow and getting backpacks ready for the morning, I asked Caitlyn if she wanted to start one of her projects for "Pioneer Day" coming up in school.  (I don't know when yet.... but it's coming up....sometime!)  LOL
Caitlyn is bound and determined to earn an A on her Pioneer projects, and in order to do so, she needs to make four different "pioneery" projects/crafts.

First off..... weaving.

We grabbed a cardboard box, cut 'er up, and starting setting up our "looms."   Naturally, lil' sister wanted to make one too.

Caitlyn is choosing to use Red, White and Blue colors -- the yarns that were left over from her RWB afghan.

It was a slow-go start, but she is hoping to make a little bit of progress every night.
Once this project sees a finish, next on her list for Pioneer Day.....
 -- make a lantern (with Dad's assistance)
 -- make either a corn-husk doll, or a yarn doll
 -- make butter
 -- bake... umm.... some kinda cake, but I can't remember the name.  I recall one of the ingredients being 'corn meal.'  

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Poopersticker!! From Bad to Worse!

I usually do not swear;  there are simply better words out there to use that do the job just as well.



What isn't pictured very well here is a steam burn on my arm!!!  When lifting the hot-water bath lid (to remove the pizza sauce), there was a delayed reaction from the time the steam hit my arm until the nerve registers in my brain reacted!  Goodness gracious!  I have the biggest empathy for burn victims;  what utter pain.

After removing the pizza sauce jars from the cooker, I placed the stewed tomato pot on the burner to get it cooking for 10 minutes.  I then went to put some burn salve on my arm before heading back to clean up some dishes from the last hour of processing....

and then!


I had forgotten all about the stewed tomato pot.


And there ain't no savin' a scalded pot of stewed tomatoes!

There go 12 pounds of tomatoes down the drain....


At least...lesson learned!  I have now set the timer for every 15 minutes for me to get up to stir the spaghetti sauce.  Once it reduces down some more, I'll set the timer for every 5 minutes.  I'm NOT about to lose FORTY-FIVE pounds of tomatoes!  LOL

Fret not...  
I've already poured myself a glass of wine.  

Happy Saturday evening everyone.

Finally, a substantial garden-harvest day.

Tomatoes have been collecting in bins and covers for the past week and half, knowing I had a whole day free today that I could devote to a Mass-Tomato-Harvest day.

The bins pictured didn't last very long, and I was back out to pick another 20 pounds.

There really wasn't much whining going on around the household today.  I think it's because we really haven't had LOTS of garden harvesting days!  
The corn sadly was too ripe by the time we figured it would finally be ready :(  Kinda bummed there, BUT even so.... the cobs were smaller than normal, and it would have been lots of work for little preservation.   And y'all know the BEAN story --- ONE batch.  That was it this year since we still have OOOODLES left over from last year.  Dude, Amy!  WHY did you plant so many beans this year?!?!?

But TODAY.... it was tomatoes.
7AM was the start of the washing....

and it's all still well underway at 5PM.
I haven't taken an "after" picture yet, because there simply isn't much to show yet.  
We finished 10 quarts of Vegetable juice (tomatoes, carrots, peppers, celery, onions).  We LOVE using this juice for our chili.
11 halfpints and 1 pint of Pizza sauce are finishing their hot-water bath.
The Spaghetti sauce has been reducing away since 11AM.
And 7-10 pints worth of Stewed tomatoes have been prepped and await their turn on the stove for cooking, followed by processing.

After 10 hours of cutting, cooking, stirring, and processing..... I do kinda cock my head to the side and say..."REALLY?  That's ALL that was preserved today?"  LOL.  I know other preservers have to feel the same way at times.

My lil' rest of putting up my feet is nearing an end, but the end is nearing closer and closer.

Now, we'll see if I pick another 45 pounds of tomatoes next weekend for one more batch of spaghetti sauce.  We wouldn't want to run out throughout the year!  We only have 3 quarts left over from last year, and I predict we'll only get one canner full (7 quarts) from the batch that's reducing (at least, that's what the recipe is predicting).

Monday, September 9, 2013

I'm trying for a little bit of everything

School is officially underway, entering into my 2nd week.  And...... yup...... I think the routine is starting to mesh well for all of us.  This picture was the sight of the FIRST day/night of school -- my backorder of Blue-n-Gold yarn came, one day earlier than expected.   I wanted to just dig into the yarn right away, but.... I've accepted the time commitment for AP-Statistics this year.  And I was LOADED already on day #1.

BUT, since then, I have tried to find time to do a little bit of everything.
The typical housework (blah)
The afterschool homework session -- 'course, it helps that I stay at school until 5:30 every night, waiting for Cassie to finish vball practice.  I get LOTS done during that time.  However, I think that will also start to change tomorrow, now that things are starting to settle in a bit more..... I be thinking that I'll pack some running clothes in order to hit the pavement after my scheduled school hours end.  I'm going onto day #10 WITHOUT running!  Bad me. Bad me.

This past weekend, I kinda sat back and enjoyed some time downstairs on Saturday!  It had been SO long!  

Lazy Sunday was scattered in pieces all around my quilting area.... so while my embroidery machine was stitching away, I finished up the purple diagonals, and am now ready to hit the final step of the mystery :)

And on the embroidery machine...
I stitched up a newly free-download onto a kitchen towel.

Some of the girls' cinch bags were given some personalization...

... and then I played with some batting scraps (doubled-up) to see how it would work as the backing/filling for some embroidered patches/fridge-magnets.   The "Lakers" symbol you see is my school's mascot.  Kinda fun! :)

The putzing actually took up most of the afternoon; I can't believe how fast the time flew.

And then Sunday....... 8AM until 5PM....... AP-Statistics prepping and planning at the kitchen table.  LOL.  It's all good.  Really.  It WILL get easier, but right's a mess!  I have been using the 1st edition of "The Practice of Statistics" for two years, however I was ready to commit to an upgrade this year.  I received a student copy of the 3rd edition, but we elected to actually go for the big move, and adopt the 4th edition.'s my situation....
The 4th edition is on backorder until the end of September.  My decision to adopt the 4th edition happened the week before school started.  There was NO WAY the ball was going to get rolling fast enough for the start of school.  SO.......  I've been using some page copies from the student's 3rd edition with some of the teacher materials out of the 4th edition (my sales rep gave me access to some online 4th edition materials.)   It's kinda a headache!  There were just enough changes in the 1st chapter between the 3rd and 4th editions that it took the whole 9 hours yesterday JUST to get some alignment in place for lessons this week... all in order to make the transition to the 4th edition smoother ONCE we get the books OR access to the eBook component we also ordered.

So....... LOL.... this morning, after sending an email to the sales rep, wondering when/if we could at least get our eBook access codes..... I received an email in response!  We have eBook access to the 4th edition officially starting tomorrow at 3AM.   {{Um, yah.  I ain't about to set my alarm for 3AM just to write some new lessons for the week!  LOL}}
Good golly!  After spending 9 hours yesterday making handouts and powerpoints for this weeks' lessons.....aligning the 3rd student edition to the 4th edition teacher materials........ I'm STICKING to that plan through Friday.! :}  

I AM looking forward to next weekend's shorter planning session :)  Maybe only 6 hours this time :)

Besides-----my Saturday will need to be devoted to a MASSIVE tomato harvest!  Spaghetti sauce, whole canned tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato juice, vegetable juice, pizza sauce, salsa.....

Happy Monday everyone :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Some late night crochet (headband and scarf)

I've had this cute lil' headband in my Ravelry favorites for a month, so last night I gave it a whirl with some of the left over white from Caitlyn's RWB afghan.  So easy. SO simple.  So quick.  Love it.

Then I grabbed this Moda Dea Lazy Daisy yarn that my MIL gifted me and the girls.  Knowing it would be a bit more difficult to work with, I wanted to use a pattern that used more chains than any other stitch....
This was another quick project;  maybe 1-1.5 hours (I really didn't watch the clock that closely).  It's about 65" long and 3" wide.  

And as I was taking the picture this morning, Paul (who just got home from his night-shift) offered another suggestion for pictures.....

He hauled over the Standard machine and set it up.  It's found a new home :)
And works nicely as a backdrop :)

So, I really don't have much in the line of plans today.  I simply want to relax on this last day of summer vacation.  Maybe...just maybe... I'll head downstairs.  But, no promises.  

Happy Labor Day everyone in the USA.  And Happy Monday to everyone else.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Plans deterred to finish off a WIP

Directly after posting this morning, I made up some Brunch, sent Cassie outside to take care of the animals, and then headed outside to just "look around."
Which then lead to picking cucumbers and tomatoes.  

All I can say is "ugh!"

NOT because of the harvest.  No, no no.......

Merely due to my allergies!  I DREAD heading outside where there is LITERALLY rag-weed in every square foot of our yard, and has sprouted up in various spots in the garden.  That weed makes my  life MISERABLE at this time of the year! :\  
I would have LOVED to have spent oodles of time outside today harvesting;  it was a LOVELY overcast cool upper 70s day with LOW LOW dew-points; therefore TOLERABLE humidity levels.


Oh well.  I kept the harvest to just cuks and tomatoes, and was back inside within 20 minutes, sniffling, sneezing, and itchy eyes.  
After a quick shower, I sat in order to allow my allergies to calm down.  I wasn't in the mood anymore to head downstairs to work on lining the newly finished crochet purse.

However, I tidied and organized my yarn area that is on the main level, next to my glider.  And I set one simple, determined goal:  Finish Caitlyn RWB afghan!

I just finished the last stitch moments ago, and was able to snap a picture before she went off running with it.  She's SUPER excited to finally have me finish it JUST in time for bed!

So now, I'll continue relaxing with some background television, and start making up some more scarves.  
OH, and BTW.... my allergies calmed down nicely :)

A crochet [almost] finish: Simple Cotton Purse

Simple Cotton Purse [ Free Pattern | Ravelry Link ]
Time invested:  Roughly 20-30 hours (??)  I didn't keep that great of track :\

I started this a few weeks ago, using Aunt Lydia's Fashion 3 Crochet Thread.  It took me a bit to become accustomed to the smaller "yarn" and the much smaller crochet hook.  I'm not going to consider this being 100% complete because I want to attempt to sew a lining in it.  So, that could be my Slow-Stitch Sunday project.  But do you know what that means?!?!???!?!!?  **gasp**   .....

That means I need to head downstairs to my sewing/quilting room.  Who KNOWs what that could lead to today! :D

Happy Sunday everyone.